-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz (Neutral, $175 PT)
"We expect shares of Neutral-rated IBM to be under pressure in the near term. The company's 4Q13 results were mixed, particularly when adjusting for the lower tax rate. Moreover, the 1Q14 EPS outlook of roughly $2.50 implies a big hill to climb to achieve IBM's full year EPS target of 'at least' $18. Prior to the earnings call, 1Q14 consensus and J.P. Morgan estimates had been $3.29 and $3.39."
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek (Hold, $190 PT)
"IBM recommits to $20 2015 EPS target while acknowledging the need to accelerate retooling and cost-cutting efforts. Software and Services were relative highlights; Hardware was the lowlight, especially China (again). We maintain our $18 2014 EPS est (in line with guidance) and $190 target."
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White (Buy, $220 PT)
"Last night, IBM reported 4Q:13 results that exceeded our projections, and the company provided what we consider a palatable 2014 EPS outlook, while maintaining its 2015 EPS projection. Although IBM warned of weak EPS performance in 1Q:14, this softness versus our estimate is driven by a restructuring charge that most tech companies would exclude from operating performance. Based on current estimates, our model now suggests that IBM's sales cycle bottomed in 4Q:13, and we are projecting the operating profit cycle to trough in 1Q:14, providing us with a view that the worst is over for IBM in the intermediate term. As such, we reiterate our BUY rating and $220.00 price target."
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